7 comments on “Returning to the Wonderful Vajifdar Sisters

  1. Madhu, you are welcome. I am very happy to see that I have introduced you to the Vajifdar Sisters! Regarding Mayurpankh, so far, I have never watched the whole film; I’ve merely watched several songs or dances from it – but as you can see, those made an impression on me. :)

    I see that there are a couple of copies of the film on YouTube, but the quality of the videos certainly leaves something to be desired, and I would also rather find a copy with English subtitles (of course), which these don’t have.

    I hope that you do watch the film and write it up for us!

  2. Anup, you are welcome. As I mentioned, it is thanks to your post (and our subsequent exchange in comments) that I realized I wanted to write about the Vajifdar Sisters extensively this time.

    That was a good thing because, although I had a few ideas in my head regarding what I could write about for my September post, none of those other ideas inspired me enough.

    Of course, this turned out not to be a September post, but a post about the Vajifdar Sisters should not be rushed. :)

  3. Richard,
    This post is absolutely brilliant. I have to admit I was not aware of Vajifdar sisters, though I had heard their songs. I went through your earlier post, too, on them and all the comments, including that of Jeroo, daughter of Khurshid Vajifdar.

    Their story tells the harsher side of the film industry, for the ‘minor’ actors. In their case the societal pressure was another big deterrent. Plus they had options, and I am not very surprised they chose to leave, though we would have wished to see more of them.

    I think breaking the mould was easier for Saraswat Devi (Khurshid Minocher-Homji), because the profession she chose was ‘respectable’, the physical hassles were less, and she achieved enormous success with Bombay Talkies.


  4. AK, I am delighted that you like this post so much! I also found it fascinating to learn all those details about the Vajifdar Sisters and their past. The recollection that Jeroo Chavda conveyed about the “appalling conditions” endured by minor actors certainly was interesting – we seldom, if ever, hear about that sort of thing.

    Your mention of Saraswati Devi encouraged me to look into her history a little. Either I did not know – or had forgotten – that she was also a Parsi who had to overcome some resistance from within that community.

    I guess it was easier for her to overcome those obstacles, but per the entry in Wikipedia, it does not seem as though she was that well appreciated by her colleagues in the film industry later on:

    She never married and lived alone in her apartment. One day she fell down from a bus and fractured her hip bone. None of the film personalities ever came for her help. The only help she got was from her neighbours.

    Unfortunately, as we know (and have discussed in other conversations), that sort of ending was not unique among people who once thrived in the Hindi film industry of the Vintage Era and/or the Golden Age.

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